NW ABQ neighborhood fighting back against crime

Posted at: 04/24/2013 6:36 PM
Updated at: 04/24/2013 6:41 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A neighborhood in Northwest Albuquerque is trying to fight back against a spike in home burglaries.

The brazen thieves are striking in the middle of the day.

The Albuquerque Police Department says the Ladera Heights Neighborhood off Coors Boulevard has seen a slight increase in home burglaries this year compared to last year.

“It was a really unsettling experience," said resident Denver Smith.

Smith came home just as a burglar had left his home, a little more than a week ago.

Even his dogs weren’t able to stop the brazen burglar from getting away with a priceless item.

"He had ransacked some drawers and the only thing that he took was a wooden box that he thought was probably jewelry or money or something and it was my dog's ashes so that was kind of sad,” he said.

Smith says the burglar jumped over a six foot cinderblock wall.

The homeowners admit they made it easy for him to get in by leaving their back door unlocked.

APD’s Northwest Command Center says home and auto burglaries tend to go up in the Spring.

Police say 95% of burglaries happen during the day.

"What we try and do is educate them to lock your doors, lock your windows, now with the warm weather a lot of the residents are leaving their garage doors open and these burglars will take advantage of it," said Pete Gelabert, APS Crime Prevention Specialist.

Police want to educate residents.

Police say it’s about being proactive so that you don’t end up feeling violated.

"If they make it a little harder for them to do the burglaries, they'll move on down the road to the next one or they'll find a different neighborhood," said Joe Christman, NW Area Commander.

It hurt. It's something I can't get back," said Smith.

Smith says his neighbors are making sure these burglars don’t strike again.

He is making a list with contact information so that neighbors can quickly call each other when they see any suspicious activity in the neighborhood.